My 87-year-old father-in-law, Bill, is staying with Mark and me for the month of May. You see, he just lost his beautiful wife of 30 years to brain cancer. He's been through hell and hasn't quite returned back from it. So, we thought a change of scenery from his home in Buffalo would help him to heal a little. It's hard not to feel sad all the time when everywhere you look you see your lost loved one.
Anyway, Bill has always been a huge horse lover. He owned a Belgian Draft horse when my husband and his sister were growing up. He trained the horse to lead parades with huge kettle drums attached to either side of his withers. Mark, my husband, would dress in a military uniform and lead numerous big parades during his teen years. He would steer the horse with his legs and beat the drums. I think baby Okido would lose his mind if I tried to do that on him!
On Bill's wish list this trip was to finally meet my new horse, Okido. Now, keep in mind that Dad is 87 and has had two heart valve replacements in the last 10 years. So, when I asked my trainer, Pam, if we could arrange a time on Tuesday for me to bring Bill out to watch Lenae, Pam's assistant, ride Okdo, they were both all over it.
Pam arranged to borrow a golf cart from Rebecca, a friend of ours who does horse rescue at our ranch. Lenae braided Okido and had him warmed up and ready to go when we arrived. Opting to walk from the parking lot to the arena (about 2,000 steps), Dad arrived just in time for all the action in the lesson. Sitting comfortably in a chair, he smiled the entire time as he watched my boy go through his exercise. His comment about Okido was "spectacular."
Afterward, I took the above photo of Dad greeting Lenae and Okido. Then, Rebecca brought the cart and gave Bill a tour of the facility and introduced him to her rescue horses. He got the red carpet treatment.
What warmed my heart is that Pam, Lenae, and Rebecca took the time to make sure that Bill could enjoy his visit, meet Okido, and enjoy the California sunshine. Their empathy for his loss was apparent, and they each took the time to care. My heartfelt thanks to Pam, Lenae, and Rebecca. You folks are what give me hope for humanity.
Til Next Time,